Just days before New Zealand locked down for Covid-19, we visited the South Island. If you’re looking for itineraries, this one is GOLD! Seth spent a lot of time researching where to go and what to see. Here’s our perfect week with kids! Details below:
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7 PERFECT DAYS ON THE SOUTH ISLAND:
Here is our exact itinerary from when Seth was planning our trip. We felt it was a good mix of drive time with things to keep our boys entertained. The restaurants and hotels were all top notch, except where noted:

0:00 Start
0:59 DAY 1: ARRIVE TE ANU
Arrive Auckland to Queenstown
SNAP Rental Cars (via Rental Cars.com)
Drive 2h 10m to Te Anu
Radfords at the Lake Hotel
7pm Red Cliff Restaurant Reservation

1:57 DAY 2: MILFORD SOUND
GoTours 7:30am pickup Lakefront Cafe
Bus 2hrs to Millford Sound
7pm Red Cliff Restaurant Reservation
Radford at the Lake Hotel

DAY 3:
4:26 TE ANU & KEPLAR TRACK HIKE
Drive 2h 10m to Queenstown
5:15 SHOTOVER JET BOAT
7pm Prime Waterfront Restaurant and Bar
Hilton in Queenstown

DAY 4: QUEENSTOWN TO HAAST
Drive 3h to Haast Beach Motel
8:23 STOP AT THE BLUE POOLS
10:27 THUNDER CREEK FALLS
Frontier Cafe & Bar (typical bar food)
Haast Beach Motel

DAY 5 & 6: FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER
Drive 2h to Rainforest Hotel in Franz Josef
11:41 RAINFOREST HOTEL
We planned two days here to improve our chances of getting clear skies to fly. In the end, we had to drive north 1 hour to Whatorea to get better ground weather to fly.
Hike to Franz Josef Glacier bottom

13:22 DAY 7: HELI RIDE TO CHRIST CHURCH
Early Heli Ride with Glacier Country Scenic Flights
Drive 5 Hours to Christ Church, many hikes along the way
Fino Hotel and Suites (this one wasn’t that good)
18:25 TRIP SUMMARY

OTHER TIPS:
Drive the speed limit (my brother got a ticket for going 5k over)! It’s freezing, bring a jacket, even in summer. Don’t bring your drone as there are limited places you can fly with all the helicopters and national park laws. If you like hiking, try to add a few days in Te And as the Keplar track was simply incredible, and we didn’t even touch the famous Milford Track (you need a guide)! Or you could add a trip to the east side of Mount Cook. This was the only thing we were sad to miss.

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This video was shot before Covid. We are POSTING LIVE UPDATES ON SOCIAL:
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ABOUT US: We are a family of five sailing around the world on our “dream boat,” a performance catamaran named “Archer.” Ten years ago B.K. (“before kids”), we sailed a Lagoon 380 named “Honeymoon” halfway around the world to Sydney, Australia. Along the way we shared our experiences via YouTube and, by happenstance, created one of the first “sailing channels.” We also realized what an incredible experience we were having and that someday we wanted to do it again, only this time with kids.

OUR ROUTE has taken us from the Boston/Cape Cod area of the United States down to the Caribbean and through the Panama Canal. We have dealt with massive repairs in the South Pacific, the Coronavirus lock down in New Zealand, a Category 5 Cyclone in Fiji, and now we are cruising in Covid Free Australia. Videos for all of this to come!

FAQ: More questions? What Cameras do we use? What’s our budget? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions page on our website at:
https://www.the-sailing-family.com/faq

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Posted by Deckhand